Issue Number 7: Leadership and Vulnerability
One of the best ways to nurture trust is to ask for help when you need it. Admitting you do not know how to do something does not make you weaker, it makes you more human, more approachable, and ultimately more respected.
Some leaders try to have all the answers all the time. They turn their backs on those who try to help them, and they eventually find themselves all alone in a corner. They subscribe to a kind of “perfect leader” act that is as unreasonable as it is unattainable. They become so consumed playing the part they don’t realize they are getting in their own way.
The antidote – allow yourself the freedom to be occasionally vulnerable.
You will find both great freedom and great power in being occasionally vulnerable. You have your own strengths and weaknesses, so admit you cannot know or do everything.
You have to be selective, however, both in subject and in frequency. If you are the CEO, for example, I do not recommend you tell people you have no idea what the strategic direction of the organization should be, and you would like someone to handle it for you.
Use your common sense to know when to ask for help, but don’t be afraid to be human. By asking for help you allow someone else to solve a problem you have admitted you cannot solve. You not only empower and encourage people, you nurture trust with them based on your vulnerability and their capability.
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